Oral History Interviews

Introduction

For many years local volunteers for the Historical Society have been carrying out oral history interviews in the village and we are pleased to be able to host these here on the website. The interviews have also been lodged with Wessex Film and Sound Archive collection at Winchester. If you would like to be involved in taking part – either as a transcriber, an interviewer or if you know someone who would make an interesting interviewee, please contact the editor.

See also other interviewees talking about their memories of D-day.

Lizzy Gradidge
Lizzy moved to Holme Farm in 1984 where she and Michael brought their family up on the farm and they have been very active in village activities. She talks about the decline of dairy farming and the “repurposing” of the farm. She also talks about her involvement with St John’s church and her fundraising activity for the BBC’s “Children in need”. Interviewed by Daphne Youngs in 2023.
Transcript of the interview
Holme Farm
Emily Olsen
(née White)
Emily was born and brought up in the village. Emily left to go to university and when she returned she became the youngest President of the WI. Emily talks about her early life in the village, the Brownies, Guides and Sunday School and then her experiences as WI President. Interviewed by Patricia Robinson on 7th November 2021
Transcript of the interview
Rowlands Castle WI
Graham Griffiths
Graham worked in the village as the sub-postmaster. He gives a detailed account of the Post Office, its development, related activities and incidents. He describes the events surrounding the Great Storm of 1987. Interviewed in 2006, 2007 and 2022



Transcript of the 4th interview
Snapshot 1991
Mike Driver
Mike, an architect and formerly Chief Executive of the Brick Development Association, has been a village resident since 2016. Mike talks about moving to Rowlands Castle, renovating his house with a local builder and about bricks and brickmaking in Rowlands Castle. Interviewed in 2022 by Pat Robinson.
Transcript of the interview
Rowlands Castle Brickworks
Lisa Walker
Lisa has lived in the village since 2010 when she became the Parish Clerk. Lisa talks about her career and experiences as parish clerk and the work of the Parish Council itself. Interviewed by Pat Robinson in 2022.
Transcript of the interview
Marge Harvey
Marge was born and brought up in Rowlands and has lived here for most of her adult life. She talks about her early life in the village, her participation in country activities and her 26 years of public service in local government. Interviewed by Pat Robinson in 2022.
Transcript of the interview

Paul Marshman
born 1947

Paul has lived in the village since very early childhood and is a noted local historian and an expert in the history of the village. He talks about his early life in Uplands Rd and a wide range of notable events and celebrations in the village. Interviewed in 2004 and 2022.


Transcript of the interview
Paul's biography
Mrs Irene Martin
left (née Viney),
born 1924 &
Mrs Ethel Miles
right (née Doble)
born 1915.
Mrs Miles and Mrs Martin lived next door to each other and were close friends. Mrs Miles was born in Southsea and became housemaid for the countess of Bessborough. She describes life at Stansted. Irene Viney moved to the village at 16 and married Bert Martin, milkman, at 20. She had to take over the milk round when Bert joined the Marines. Interviewed by Sonya Teal in 2004


Transcript of the interview

Dorothy Sweetnam

Dorothy was one of seven sisters living in the village from the 1930s. Her family moved to Rowlands Castle when her father moved to Rowlands Castle Lodge working for Lord Bessborough. Interviewed by Sonya Teal in 2004
Transcript of the interview
Pearl House
(née Pierpoint)
born 1926
Pearl lived in the village and worked at Stansted House. Her husband was Lord Bessborough’s chauffer. Pearl talks about her life and work at Stansted house. Interviewed by Sonya Teal in 2004
Transcript of the interview
Heather Withers (née Webb)
born 1928
Heather worked as the cook at Stansted House working for Lord & Lady Bessborough. She talks about life in Stansted House and her experiences as a cook. Interviewed by Sonya Teal in 2004

Transcript of the interview
Jennifer Bussell
(née Winnicott)
born 1936
Jennifer Bussell was the daughter of the owner of R J Winnicott Ltd. She grew up in Deerleap House and eventually worked for her father’s company in Copnor. She talks about the family and the family business . Interviewed by Sonya Teal in 2004.
Transcript of the interview
Home Hardware
Ted Redsull
born 1943
Ted was born and brought up in the village. He worked in the brickworks, and later as a builder with a mainly village customer base. He recounts many colourful stories of his boyhood and young adult life in the village. Interviewed by Sonya Teal in 2005.


Ted's biography
Robin Hall
born 1940
Robin’s family has lived in Rowlands Castle since the late 18th century. Robin ran Hall’s Garage on the Village Green. He relates stories of his childhood and later life in the village. Interviewed by Sonya Teal in 2005.
Transcript of the interview
Hall's Garage
Robert Farr
Robert was born and brought up in the village and went to St John’s School. He gives a detailed account of his time there and of boyhood experiences during the war and caddying for the golfers. He was a gardener at Stansted before his National Service. Interviewed by Sonya Teal in 2005.

Transcript of the interview
Gwen Prior
born 1925
Gwen went to school in South Harting, left school at 14 and from there went into domestic service, working for a farmer in West Harting. During the war, she worked at West Lock camp in the kitchen cooking for the evacuees from Portsmouth. She moved to Stansted Park in 1960. Interviewed by Sonya Teal in 2008.
Transcript of the interview
Doris Hern
(née Philips)
Doris was a midwife living in Rowlands Castle. She married John Hern, partner in Wiggington & Hern Grocery Shop off the Green. She talks of her experiences as a midwife and in running the shop during the war as well as of being a rally driver after the war. Interviewed by Sonya Teal in 2008
Martin Cuthbert
born 1959
Martin was born and brought up in the village and was a butcher and meat inspector in Chichester abattoir. Later he became a self-employed local gardener. He talks about his keen interest in shooting and other country pursuits on the Stansted Estate. Interviewed by Sonya Teal in 2015
Mary-Jane Lomer
Mary Jane has lived in the village since 1964, when she ran the Nursery School in Beech House. She later ran the Coffee Pot Café on the Green and published local history booklets, written and illustrated by herself. Interviewed by Sonya Teal in 2017.
Mary-Jane's biography

Kathleen Edmonds

Kathleen was brought up in the area. Her father was a cowman at South Holt Farm, then moved to Prospect farm. She joined the WRNS during the war. Kathleen talks about growing up locally, going to St Johns and her later domestic work. Interviewed by Sonya Teal in 2004.
Vera Cooper
(née King)
born 1910
Vera King was born and brought up in the village and married a Portsmouth builder Edward Cooper. In her interview she talks about her father’s work as a carrier and her own work in McIlroys in Commercial Road. Interviewed by Sonya Teal in 2004.
Transcript of the interview
Roly Griffiths
born 1915
Roly Griffiths was born and brought up in the village and talks about his working life on the railway. Mrs Griffiths joins at the end and recounts stories about the evacuation of children to Stansted House during the war. Interviewed by Sonya Teal in 2004.

Transcript of the interview
Bill West
born 1924
Bill was born and brought up in Whichers Gate Rd. He recounts many stories about the East Durrants area and his family. He also has many anecdotes about the Staunton Estate, the RCA and the allotments. Interviewed by Sonya Teal in 2004.
John Rowe
born 1923
John was the Head Forester for the Stansted Estate. The first interview details his early life in Devon and his service in the army as a driver in North Africa and Italy. In a second interview he describes his training and subsequent career as forester. Interviewed by Sonya Teal in 2004.
Pat Carter
(née Young)
born 1940
Pat was brought up in Westbourne and moved to the village when she married a local man. She tells of her involvement with the allotment society and organising the horticultural show at the village fair. She relates stories about village events such as the Tour de France. Interviewed by Sonya Teal in 2005.
Transcript of the interview
Elizabeth Priston
(née Bert)
born 1941
Liz was born in Castle Rd. She relates wartime stories from her childhood, including using the village shops. She was a member of the Guides and eventually worked for Sir Rudolph Dymoke-White. She was a member of the WI and worked on the Millennium Tapestry. Interviewed by Sonya Teal in 2005
Transcript of the interview
Margaret Newnham
(née Jenkins)
born 1929
Margaret lived in the village from the age of 2. She worked for many years in the village drapers. She relates stories of her childhood during the war, D-Day, school outings and the village fair. Later she was a long standing volunteer with the lunch club. Interviewed by Sonya Teal in 2005
Transcript of the interview
Maureen Vicary
(née Neale)
born 1923
Maureen was born in Southsea, and moved to Rowlands Castle in 1966. She and her husband were the second family to move into the Peak and she explains how the area was developed. Maureen took an active part in village life, relating activities in the WI and other village societies and the Church. Interviewed by Sonya Teal in 2006
Transcript of the interview
Robert Winnicott
born 1939
Robert’s family moved to Deerleap when he was a baby and he was brought up in the village. He recounts incidents in the village as a child during the war. Robert took over the running of the Winnicott's family business, setting up the retail side and continuing the building activity. Interviewed by Sonya Teal in 2006
Transcript of the interview
Vera Newland
(née Brown)
born 1916
Vera was born in East Durrants and brought up in the village. She gives fascinating descriptions of home life in a family of 6 brothers and three sisters in the 1920’s. She was a dinner lady at St John’s school for many years. Interviewed by Sonya Teal in 2007.
Transcript of the interview
Derek Ashworth
born 1926
Dr Ashworth came to Rowlands Castle in September 1967 as a general practitioner, originally, working alone from his own home at 63, Bowes Hill which had a consulting room and a dispensary. He retired in 1987 to enjoy his love of classical music. Interviewed by Sonya Teal in 2008.

Ray Trevis
born 1930

Ray was born and lived at Prospect Farm. Here, he describes dairy farming in detail and his boyhood round the village. He was a founder member of the Rowlands Castle Cricket team and later joined the Golf Club. He describes how the club and course has changed over the years. Interviewed by Sonya Teal in 2009

Kathy Molloy
(née Rook)

Kathy is a member of the Rook family, who have been residents of the Village for many generations. She left for a while to join the WRAF and on returning she married and became active in the Drama group, the W.I. and with a Barbershop choir. Interviewed by Sonya Teal in 2010
Jean Pearce
Jean and her family moved to Rowlands Castle in 1959 and lived in the Station Master’s house. She talks about living in and bringing up her family in the station and the rail crash at the station in 1977. Later she was Tawny Owl in the Brownie pack. Interviewed by Sonya Teal in 2010.
Majorie Neate
(née Kimber)
born 1911
Marjorie talks of her schooldays and her memories of her grandma. She was a telephone operator and talks about the development of the telephone and her audition to be TIM the speaking clock. Interviewed by Sonya Teal in 2011.
Lizzy Gradidge

Lizzy moved to Holme Farm in 1984 where she and Michael brought their family up on the farm and they have been very active in village activities. She talks about the decline of dairy farming and the “repurposing” of the farm. She also talks about her involvement with St John’s church and her fundraising activity for the BBC’s “Children in need”. Interviewed by Daphne Youngs in 2023.
Emily Olsen
(née White)

Emily was born and brought up in the village. Emily left to go to university and when she returned she became the youngest President of the WI. Emily talks about her early life in the village, the Brownies, Guides and Sunday School and then her experiences as WI President. Interviewed by Patricia Robinson on 7th November 2021

Transcript of the interview
Rowlands Castle WI
Graham Griffiths

Graham worked in the village as the sub-postmaster. He gives a detailed account of the Post Office, its development, related activities and incidents. He describes the events surrounding the Great Storm of 1987. Interviewed in 2006, 2007 and 2022




Transcript of the 4th interview
Snapshot 1991
Mike Driver

Mike, an architect and formerly Chief Executive of the Brick Development Association, has been a village resident since 2016. Mike talks about moving to Rowlands Castle, renovating his house with a local builder and about bricks and brickmaking in Rowlands Castle. Interviewed in 2022 by Pat Robinson.

Transcript of the interview
Rowlands Castle Brickworks
Lisa Walker

Lisa has lived in the village since 2010 when she became the Parish Clerk. Lisa talks about her career and experiences as parish clerk and the work of the Parish Council itself. Interviewed by Pat Robinson in 2022.

Transcript of the interview
Marge Harvey

Marge was born and brought up in Rowlands and has lived here for most of her adult life. She talks about her early life in the village, her participation in country activities and her 26 years of public service in local government. Interviewed by Pat Robinson in 2022.

Transcript of the interview

Paul Marshman
born 1947


Paul has lived in the village since very early childhood and is a noted local historian and an expert in the history of the village. He talks about his early life in Uplands Rd and a wide range of notable events and celebrations in the village. Interviewed in 2004 and 2022.



Transcript of the interview
Paul's biography
Mrs Irene Martin
left (née Viney),
born 1924 &
Mrs Ethel Miles
right (née Doble)
born 1915.

Mrs Miles and Mrs Martin lived next door to each other and were close friends. Mrs Miles was born in Southsea and became housemaid for the countess of Bessborough. She describes life at Stansted. Irene Viney moved to the village at 16 and married Bert Martin, milkman, at 20. She had to take over the milk round when Bert joined the Marines. Interviewed by Sonya Teal in 2004



Transcript of the interview

Dorothy Sweetnam


Dorothy was one of seven sisters living in the village from the 1930s. Her family moved to Rowlands Castle when her father moved to Rowlands Castle Lodge working for Lord Bessborough. Interviewed by Sonya Teal in 2004

Transcript of the interview
Pearl House
(née Pierpoint)
born 1926

Pearl lived in the village and worked at Stansted House. Her husband was Lord Bessborough’s chauffer. Pearl talks about her life and work at Stansted house. Interviewed by Sonya Teal in 2004

Transcript of the interview
Heather Withers (née Webb)
born 1928

Heather worked as the cook at Stansted House working for Lord & Lady Bessborough. She talks about life in Stansted House and her experiences as a cook. Interviewed by Sonya Teal in 2004


Transcript of the interview
Jennifer Bussell
(née Winnicott)
born 1936

Jennifer Bussell was the daughter of the owner of R J Winnicott Ltd. She grew up in Deerleap House and eventually worked for her father’s company in Copnor. She talks about the family and the family business . Interviewed by Sonya Teal in 2004.

Transcript of the interview
Home Hardware
Ted Redsull
born 1943

Ted was born and brought up in the village. He worked in the brickworks, and later as a builder with a mainly village customer base. He recounts many colourful stories of his boyhood and young adult life in the village. Interviewed by Sonya Teal in 2005.



Ted's biography
Robin Hall
born 1940

Robin’s family has lived in Rowlands Castle since the late 18th century. Robin ran Hall’s Garage on the Village Green. He relates stories of his childhood and later life in the village. Interviewed by Sonya Teal in 2005.

Transcript of the interview
Hall's Garage
Robert Farr
Robert was born and brought up in the village and went to St John’s School. He gives a detailed account of his time there and of boyhood experiences during the war and caddying for the golfers. He was a gardener at Stansted before his National Service. Interviewed by Sonya Teal in 2005.

Transcript of the interview
Gwen Prior
born 1925

Gwen went to school in South Harting, left school at 14 and from there went into domestic service, working for a farmer in West Harting. During the war, she worked at West Lock camp in the kitchen cooking for the evacuees from Portsmouth. She moved to Stansted Park in 1960. Interviewed by Sonya Teal in 2008.

Transcript of the interview
Doris Hern
(née Philips)

Doris was a midwife living in Rowlands Castle. She married John Hern, partner in Wiggington & Hern Grocery Shop off the Green. She talks of her experiences as a midwife and in running the shop during the war as well as of being a rally driver after the war. Interviewed by Sonya Teal in 2008
Martin Cuthbert
born 1959

Martin was born and brought up in the village and was a butcher and meat inspector in Chichester abattoir. Later he became a self-employed local gardener. He talks about his keen interest in shooting and other country pursuits on the Stansted Estate. Interviewed by Sonya Teal in 2015

Mary-Jane Lomer

Mary Jane has lived in the village since 1964, when she ran the Nursery School in Beech House. She later ran the Coffee Pot Café on the Green and published local history booklets, written and illustrated by herself. Interviewed by Sonya Teal in 2017.

Mary-Jane's biography

Kathleen Edmonds


Kathleen was brought up in the area. Her father was a cowman at South Holt Farm, then moved to Prospect farm. She joined the WRNS during the war. Kathleen talks about growing up locally, going to St Johns and her later domestic work. Interviewed by Sonya Teal in 2004.
Vera Cooper
(née King)
born 1910

Vera King was born and brought up in the village and married a Portsmouth builder Edward Cooper. In her interview she talks about her father’s work as a carrier and her own work in McIlroys in Commercial Road. Interviewed by Sonya Teal in 2004.

Transcript of the interview
Roly Griffiths
born 1915

Roly Griffiths was born and brought up in the village and talks about his working life on the railway. Mrs Griffiths joins at the end and recounts stories about the evacuation of children to Stansted House during the war. Interviewed by Sonya Teal in 2004.


Transcript of the interview
Bill West
born 1924

Bill was born and brought up in Whichers Gate Rd. He recounts many stories about the East Durrants area and his family. He also has many anecdotes about the Staunton Estate, the RCA and the allotments. Interviewed by Sonya Teal in 2004.
John Rowe
born 1923

John was the Head Forester for the Stansted Estate. The first interview details his early life in Devon and his service in the army as a driver in North Africa and Italy. In a second interview he describes his training and subsequent career as forester. Interviewed by Sonya Teal in 2004.

Pat Carter
(née Young)
born 1940

Pat was brought up in Westbourne and moved to the village when she married a local man. She tells of her involvement with the allotment society and organising the horticultural show at the village fair. She relates stories about village events such as the Tour de France. Interviewed by Sonya Teal in 2005.

Transcript of the interview
Elizabeth Priston
(née Bert)
born 1941

Liz was born in Castle Rd. She relates wartime stories from her childhood, including using the village shops. She was a member of the Guides and eventually worked for Sir Rudolph Dymoke-White. She was a member of the WI and worked on the Millennium Tapestry. Interviewed by Sonya Teal in 2005

Transcript of the interview
Margaret Newnham
(née Jenkins)
born 1929

Margaret lived in the village from the age of 2. She worked for many years in the village drapers. She relates stories of her childhood during the war, D-Day, school outings and the village fair. Later she was a long standing volunteer with the lunch club. Interviewed by Sonya Teal in 2005

Transcript of the interview
Maureen Vicary
(née Neale)
born 1923

Maureen was born in Southsea, and moved to Rowlands Castle in 1966. She and her husband were the second family to move into the Peak and she explains how the area was developed. Maureen took an active part in village life, relating activities in the WI and other village societies and the Church. Interviewed by Sonya Teal in 2006

Transcript of the interview
Robert Winnicott
born 1939

Robert’s family moved to Deerleap when he was a baby and he was brought up in the village. He recounts incidents in the village as a child during the war. Robert took over the running of the Winnicott's family business, setting up the retail side and continuing the building activity. Interviewed by Sonya Teal in 2006

Transcript of the interview
Vera Newland
(née Brown)
born 1916

Vera was born in East Durrants and brought up in the village. She gives fascinating descriptions of home life in a family of 6 brothers and three sisters in the 1920’s. She was a dinner lady at St John’s school for many years. Interviewed by Sonya Teal in 2007.

Transcript of the interview
Derek Ashworth
born 1926

Dr Ashworth came to Rowlands Castle in September 1967 as a general practitioner, originally, working alone from his own home at 63, Bowes Hill which had a consulting room and a dispensary. He retired in 1987 to enjoy his love of classical music. Interviewed by Sonya Teal in 2008.

Ray Trevis
born 1930


Ray was born and lived at Prospect Farm. Here, he describes dairy farming in detail and his boyhood round the village. He was a founder member of the Rowlands Castle Cricket team and later joined the Golf Club. He describes how the club and course has changed over the years. Interviewed by Sonya Teal in 2009

Kathy Molloy
(née Rook)


Kathy is a member of the Rook family, who have been residents of the Village for many generations. She left for a while to join the WRAF and on returning she married and became active in the Drama group, the W.I. and with a Barbershop choir. Interviewed by Sonya Teal in 2010

Jean Pearce

Jean and her family moved to Rowlands Castle in 1959 and lived in the Station Master’s house. She talks about living in and bringing up her family in the station and the rail crash at the station in 1977. Later she was Tawny Owl in the Brownie pack. Interviewed by Sonya Teal in 2010.

Majorie Neate
(née Kimber)
born 1911

Marjorie talks of her schooldays and her memories of her grandma. She was a telephone operator and talks about the development of the telephone and her audition to be TIM the speaking clock. Interviewed by Sonya Teal in 2011.

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